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Entries from April 2011

Pass The Salt.

I try to be a good wife. I really do.


It all started out innocently enough, armed with the knowledge that "Egg in the Hole" is a favorite in hubby's family, the recent sighting of said favorite with a heart-shaped hole, and a lazy mid-cuddle, "I'm hungry..."


"I can do that," I said to myself.


Things were going along swimmingly. I used two eggs, since I had cut Chloë's bread machine-made challah rather thick, but like the heart and the red plate, I figured two eggs in the hole would be symbolic. Right?


Oh, no. Oh no, no, no... I can't flip food in a pan to save my life. What is the damn secret?!?!


"Maybe if I make the presentation nice, he won't notice the poor haphazard-looking eggs," thought I, to myself. 


Oh. He noticed.


It was good, anyway. As was the equally-messy Take Two. But at least I got the second hole.


Getting Back To Organic

Little by little, we're trying to work our way back into buying organic food for our little bitties, and being on the right side of the food system again. It's costly, so we can't afford right now to go all-in like we did last year, but we're doing the best we can.

I recently cashed in a bunch of my MyPoints for a $25.00 certificate - yeah, baby! So when it came in the mail, I decided to see how much good, organic foodstuffs I could get with it. I think I already had a $5 GC from Swagbucks on there, too, so I had a total of $30 with which to play my little game.

Now, I don't know if you know this, but on Amazon, if you choose their Subscribe & Save option, you can sign up to receive regular shipments (you choose the interval) of a food, and then shipping is free! I always cancel the subscription immediately after my first order, which doesn't make a darn bit of difference. It's awesome. Try it.

Once you're in Subscribe & Save, then you can further narrow down your search, so I looked for organic items in that department. I pretty much wanted to maximize my kids' nutrition and get the most bang for my buck, while spending just about exactly that $30.00.


I think this is the first thing I got, for about $14 including free s/h, because we can always use more milk around here. The chocolate was more expensive, but I decided to get it anyway, to treat the kids. They have no problem drinking white milk, unlike a lot of kids, but they so rarely get good, organic, chocolate milk, that I went for it.


For just $8.65 for a pack of four 18-oz bags, I chose this selection of oat bran cereal. I knew the kids might not eat it as straight oatmeal, but I could use it for baking. Into the virtual cart it went.


I was limited by how much I could spend after that, so I narrowed by price and found this case of Earth's Best organic bananas baby food, 12 4-oz jars. I can't seem to find it here, so maybe they're out right now, but there's no reason the stage 1 wouldn't work as well as the stage 2 for my purposes: baking banana bread! Oh, you've never baked with baby food? Why not? It's so much easier than mashing the fruit yourself, and the ingredients are usually quite fresh and natural. It makes for a very moist, flavorful bread. I've done it a lot.


The chocolate milks have long since disappeared down my trio's gullets, but I was putting away the other two cases of food today when I got that late-night urge to do some baking. So I looked at the package of oat bran cereal, which had a recipe for healthy muffins. I didn't have most of the ingredients, but I did have that, and the egg, and the bananas (okay, banana baby food), and what-not. And voila! Yummy, delicious, muffins for the kids' breakfast. They really do taste good.

And an added bonus: The smell a whole lot better than the litterbox I'm sitting next to right now. I think I'll go take another whiff.


A Quick Jaunt to NoVa


On Friday, the 1st, we had to do a hotel mystery shop in Fredericksburg, and a laser tag shop an hour's drive north, around the D.C. area. So we left early in the afternoon to check in to the hotel, I did a quick survey of our (very nice) room, and we took off again for Alexandria.

Needless to say, my kids are getting to be quite excellent little car travelers. An hour's trip is nothing to them, now. "Is it going to take long?" means "Will it be five or more hours?" these days!




All of these pictures are from my iPhone, as I didn't feel like lugging around the big Nikon and then risking it getting stolen while I was playing the game. So they're kind of hazy, because it was dark in there. Sorry 'bout that. 

When we arrived around 1820, I learned that it's all-you-can-play after 2000 on Fridays, so I called up my old college friend, who now lives in D.C., to let him know. He decided to show up a little later to play. While we waited, the kids and I had some munchies, played games, rode the rides, and did all the other things that, unbeknownst to them, were part of my shop requirements. They didn't care, as they were having loads of fun!


Chlo was all excited to have won this squishy ball thingy. She is still playing with it constantly. It's like a stress-reliever ball for her. Hey, whatever works - she needs it!


Soph stealing a sip of my Diet Coke in between playing games and running around the arcade


I said, "Raise your hand if you're having fun!" and in response, they all lay down on their backs and raised everything. Goofballs, all three of 'em!


Finally, the kids made it over to the Skee Ball games - my favorite! I'm kind of good at it, but they wouldn't let me throw one, single ball. Stinkers. I coulda gotten them more prize tickets, but noooo... I'm just the Moneybags 'round here. Humph.


Finally, Clay arrived, ready to play Laser Tag. I wish this picture had turned out better, because it would have been pretty cute. Sophia really took to Clay, and I think he had a good time with all of my kiddos, too. He was one of my best buds at U.Miami, so of course I was happy to spend a few hours with him, too! (Plus, I kicked his ass at Laser Tag, big-time!!)



Is that thing a dog or a bear? We couldn't decide. This was when we were heading in for a briefing of the rules, before actually playing.

The game was so fun. We've played it before, but it was just the five of us, never a huge bunch of people like it was that night. Good times! Chloe completely deceived me. She came up to me, whimpering that she was scared (we were on opposite teams). I came closer to her to help her out, and she said, "Haha! I just wanted to get you!" and tagged me with her laser. That snot!!! I had to hand it to her though, it was a pretty good gag.


Our last game of the night, Sophia decided to sit it out because she'd developed a painful blister on her foot from all the running around. Of course, I couldn't leave her out there by herself, so I sat it out with her. Clay took the older two kids into the laser tag arena for me, and Soph snuggled with her Mama. She piled herself into my lap and played on my iPhone while I stroked her sweet (long!) hair and rubbed her warm self. She wanted to send kissy pictures to Daddy via Facebook, so we did that. She's my little look-alike! I keep meaning to get out pictures of myself as a kid and put them up next to her, to show how close we look. Or have I already done that? I swear, I have Alzheimer's.


In the briefing room of the laser tag game, Jack did what Jack is always doing these days: one of his awesome head stands. He learned how to do it at gymnastics class a month or two ago, and he's forever on his head. I mean, always, all the time, that boy is upside-down. He does a fantastic job, staying up for two or three minutes on a good one. I told him I'd give him five bucks if he could stay up there for five minutes, but he hasn't yet made it. 

So we said our good-byes to my old friend, and drove the hour back to Fredericksburg. It was nearly midnight by then, and the kids were starving. We ducked into the grocery store across from the hotel (the very awesome Wegmans, which I was shocked to find in Virginia, since I know them from growing up in New York) and got all kinds of nummies for a midnight snack, before heading back into our hotel room. 

The kids were SO wound up from all the excitement, that I thought they'd never sleep. They even outlasted me; I fell asleep around 0100, and they were still up watching TV. Finally I woke up an hour or two later and put the kibosh on the telly, and yes, it was quite fun trying to wake them up for breakfast the following morning. They barely kept their eyes open while they ate. 

And then, we checked out and went home - and the whole trip only took one tank of gas. Whee!


I Still Like The Photo, Though.


We really don't have much of a backyard to speak of, being that we live in a middle house in a row of townhouses, in a neighborhood full of townhouses, in a city full of townhouses... What was I talking about again? I started imagining a world full of townhouses.

Oh yes. So. Jack was outside playing in our measly li'l postage-stamp backyard, having the kind of fun only true boys - and Sophia - know how to have, when he came tearing into the house holding this huge clump of dirt and yelling that he'd found a radish.

"Mommy! LOOK! We grew a giant radish in our garden! Look at this radish! Radish, radish, radish!!"

So my brain is thinking, "Wow, that's a giant... what is that thing? Sure, he says it's a radish, so we'll go with that...."

This boy is one who usually shies away from the camera, ducking under the table, or his sisters, or his shirt if nothing else is available, so I had to hurry up and screw on my lens before that big grin disappeared. My only thought was to capture the happiness before he hid it behind his regular, grumpier facade.

Snap, snap. Click.

Of course, I posted the picture on Facebook before I took a second look at the "radish," because I liked the smiling boy so well.

Daddy came downstairs then, and of course the kids were jumping all over him to show him the giant "radish" we grew.

(Backing up a little: We spent a lot of time and, well, money, last Spring, setting up and planting ourselves a nice vegetable garden. All we got out of it was maybe three average-sized zukes. So growing a huge "radish" a year later was, well, quite the cause for celebration.)

Rob quickly burst the kids' bubble by saying, "You know what that is, guys? It's an ONION that we never ate, and I just planted it a little while ago to see if it would grow."


So what, forget about the radish-cum-onion. Just look at the happy boy. And enjoy it, because it may be a while before you see that smile captured digitally again!


Sunday Stealing: The 5000 Q Meme Part 3

Sunday Stealing 

Link up here...

51. Make up a definition for the following silly words...

Fruitgoogle: Looking up produce on search engines.

Ambytime: Anytime you do two things at once with your hands at the same time.

Asscactus: A pain in the rear. "That guy is a real asscactus."

52. What was the last thing you made with your own hands?

I made a knitted dodecahedron that was pretty cool...

53. What was your favorite toy as a child?

This white stuffed puppy with red ears. His name was Snowflake.

54. How many TV’s are in your house?

One, in the living room.

55. What is your favorite thing to do outside?

Swim, at the beach

56. How do you feel when you see a rainbow?

Lucky - it's a special treat.

57. Have you ever dreamt a dream that came true?

Oh yes, many times. I dream ordinary conversations that then play out in real life. I get lots of deja vu.

58. Have you ever been to a psychic/tarot reader?

No, and I doubt I ever will.

59. What is your idea of paradise?

Palm trees, water, sun - all that stuff. Calypso music playing. Fruity rum drinks aplenty. Hammocks. Beach volleyball. Coconuts. Sexy locals.

60. Do you believe in God and if so what is He like?

Yes. He is a loving, kind God. A forgiving God. An omnipotent, all-present, all-seeing, God. He is everything, He is all.

61. Do you believe in Hell?

I'm not sure, I haven't figured out how I define Hell yet.

62. What one thing have you done that most people haven't?

I've gotten my nose pierced. I've swum with sharks. I've gotten cut up by a frozen dolphin in a walk-in freezer!

63. What is the kindest thing you have ever done?

Let my baby stop fighting and go to his forever home.

64. Have you gone to WTIT's facebook page and hit "like" yet? If not, why not? (No pressure.)

Yeah, I believe I have. :P

65. What holiday should exist but doesn't?

Neighbors' Day. Everyone goes around and meets and greets their neighbors and shows goodwill toward them.

66. What holiday shouldn't exist but does?

Eh, whatever. I'm not a big fan of St. Patrick's Day.

67. What's the best joke you ever heard?

I'm horrible at remembering jokes. I'm sure it was something naughty, though.

68. Where is the most fun place you have EVER been?

Welcome to Miami, bienvenidos a Miami....

69. Is your hair natural or dyed?

I haven't seen my natural hair color since 1995. I stopped dying it during my pregnancies, but it takes longer than that for my hair to grow out.

70. Do you have any deep dark secrets or are you pretty much up front?

I'm pretty much upfront. I think I've shared all my secrets here by now.

71. What is under your bed right now?

Honestly, I have no idea. Probably a dirty sock, a kid toy or two, and then the rest is Rob's crap. I try not to look under there.

72. If you were in the Land of Oz would you want to live there or go home?

Uh, what kind of question is that? I'd probably click my ruby heels...

73. If you drive do you frequently speed?

I have a lead foot. I've gotten two speeding tickets lately!

74. What is the world's best song to dance to?

Gosh, I don't know. I haven't heard all the world's songs yet!

75. What song was on the last time you danced with someone?

I can't remember! Rob and I danced together just the other day, but I don't recall what was on... sorry!


Saturday 9: Hey Nineteen


Technically it's still Saturday, but I only have a minute left, so my post will be late. No worries. Link up here if you're playing along this week!

1. What was the best thing about being 19?

Being in college in Miami, surrounded by beautiful scenery (and people!) and having tons of great friends... ah, that was the life.

2. Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity?

Italy. Japan. The seaside. Somewhere new. Maybe deep into the heart of Mexico. Or okay, assuming I'm broke, all it takes is wandering up and down the aisles of Michaels to get the creative juices flowing. ;P

3. Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when... kids don't behave in public. I don't expect them to be perfect little angels, but every once in a while, they get completely out of hand! Usually they're pretty good, though.

4. Name 3 fads from your teenage years.

High, over hair-sprayed bangs. Holey jeans. Baggy clothes.

5. What's the best birthday present you've ever had?

Chloë, my oldest, when I turned 25! ♥

6. What's your oldest possession?

Photographs from my parents' childhoods.

7. Do you have any phobias?

Yeah, I'm afraid of mustard and sand paper touching me. Eeeeek!

8. This is pretty much the start of Spring (regardless of the snow in the east this week!); what's on your to-do list for the next few weeks to transition away from this long Winter we've been having?

Gotta get the kids' Spring wardrobe out of the attic and take out the too-smalls. They probably have enough to get through the summer with what's left. At least I hope so... that's about it, since we just cleaned house from top to bottom.

9. Which of the 50 states in the U.S. would you rather die than live in?

If the majority of the people drive around in pick-up trucks with three dogs in the back and confederate flag stickers all over... those.

Don't shoot me now. :|